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Progress of Marine Engineering

Nature volume 140, page 539 (25 September 1937) | Download Citation



ON September 14, Mr. S. J. Pigott, director-in-charge of the Clydebank Works of John Brown and Co., Ltd., where the Queen Mary was built, delivered the presidential address to the Institute of Marine Engineers. In the main it was a review of the development in marine engineering during the last sixty years. The era 1877–87, he said, might be designated "The Advent of Steel in Engineering". In that decade it was possible to raise the pressure in cylindrical boilers to 160 Ib. per sq. in., and at the same time forced draught was introduced. The next decade, 1887–97, saw the development of the quadruple-expansion engine, which in the period 1897–1907 attained its maximum size. The year 1897 was also marked by the use by Sir Charles Parsons of the marine steam turbine, and in 1904 the Cunard Steamship Company equipped the Carmania with a high-pressure turbine driving a centre-line shaft and exhausting to a low-pressure turbine on each wing-shaft. The Diesel engine first made its appearance on shipboard in 1903 in the small Russian tanker Vandal. Another landmark was the fitting of geared turbines in the Vespasian in 1909. In 1910 impulse turbines as opposed to the earlier reaction turbines were fitted in H.M.S. Bristol, and to-day, the most highly powered British naval vessel, H.M.S. Hood, is propelled by impulse turbines with gearing. If the era 1927–37 has seen no epoch-making development, it has produced progressive designs as is seen in the cross-channel motor-ship Prince Baudouin, the turbo-electric P. and O. liner Viceroy of India, and last but not least the Queen Mary and Normandie.

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